ECG changes in hypothermia

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The following are characteristic of the ECG changes in the hypothermic patient:

  • atrial fibrillation
  • J-waves - which are pathognomonic of hypothermia
  • PR elongation
  • QRS widening
  • QT elongation

These abnormalities may proceed to:

  • ventricular tachycardia
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • electro-mechanical dissociation
  • asystole

Click here for an example ECG and further information

Last reviewed 01/2018